Where to eat in Amsterdam: a foodie guide
Dive into the Dutch capital’s diverse dining scene
Whether you're on a mission to sample some Michelin-starred magic or after some bitterballen on a budget, Amsterdam will keep your tastebuds amused from morning to midnight.
Alongside local classics like pancakes, waffles and stamppot, you'll find international influences at every turn, including incredible Indonesian cuisine, Japanese snacks and perfectly cooked steaks.
So get set for a taste of the best food in Amsterdam.
Best places to eat in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a gastronomic melting pot, bursting with everything from Indonesian dishes to a New Zealand-style brunch – as well as all the local delicacies you'd expect. So pack a healthy appetite and a sense of adventure.
Granted, there’s no shortage of pancake purveyors in Amsterdam, but some risk leaving you feeling a little, well, flat.
There are no such concerns at Bakers & Roasters, the New Zealand style café with Brazilian accents.
The maple syrup-drenched pancakes at this local favourite come topped with bananas, blueberries and bacon – basically nice things beginning with ‘b’.
Situated in foodie Oud-West, AMOI is a great place to get to grips with Indo-Dutch cuisine.
Serving up an enticing array of familiar and lesser-known treats, this friendly spot is a favourite with locals and visitors alike.
Settle in with a lemongrass-infused G&T or grab a local beer, then work your way through the delicious tapas-style menu from classics like chicken satay and beef rendang to ikan pepesan – spicy grilled sea bass wrapped in a banana leaf.
Dutch cuisine often involves much enthusiastic mashing of tubers. Hence the beloved local delicacy of stamppot, which dates from the early 1600s.
It’s a delicious pile of boiled and mashed vegetables, served at Moeders with a sausage, meatball and bacon.
Be sure to bring a hearty appetite and plenty of room for pudding. Favourites include speculaas ice cream and a heart-stopper called simply 'chocolate party'.
Best bars in Amsterdam
The classic Dutch ‘brown café’ is one of the joys of life in Amsterdam, with its tiny flutes of beer and eyebrow-raising idiosyncrasies (carpeted walls or salted, hard-boiled eggs, anyone?). But the city is now embracing cool cocktail bars, themed spots and rooftop hangouts, too.
This light, bright, canalside café is a friendly spot to stop for drink. The bar's well-stocked and the hearty dishes hit the spot, from the baked egg breakfast sandwich to the classic bitterballen, best enjoyed with a beer.
Grab a spot on the leafy terrace and soak up the waterside vibes. Or, for the full Amsterdam experience, turn up by boat and step nonchalantly onto the jetty.
When in Amsterdam, be sure to try the local beers. And where better than at the brewery itself?
The taproom at Brouwerij het IJ sits in the shadow of the largest wooden windmill in the Netherlands, and serves up their signature pale ales and bockbiers.
Can't decide which tipple to try? Ask for one of the handy samplers; a science lab-like rack of miniature glass vials.
To soak up the suds, choose from their simple but tasty menu of bar snacks, including cheese and sausage, cornichons, olives or a perfectly boiled egg.
If you like your pint with a side of pinball or a quick spin on a vintage Sega, TonTon Club is the place for you.
This retro games bar is lovingly curated, and the menu's a delicious mash-up of Japanese and Dutch dishes.
So bring your competitive side and a healthy appetite – it's likely to be a long, brilliantly fun night.
Amsterdam is known for breaking the mould, and the city’s approach to al fresco drinking and dining is no different. Where most cities stick with rooftop bars, Amsterdam thinks bigger.
Here, you can splash through fountains atop a museum at Up on the roof at NEMO, ride a swing 22 storeys above the canals at A’DAM Lookout, or grab a drink and jump in a hot tub at Canvas, on top of the Volkshotel.
Michelin-starred restaurants in Amsterdam
Amsterdam isn't really into starchy, formal dining, so many of its Michelin-starred restaurants take a more relaxed approach. That’s not to say it doesn’t do luxe, as the gilded splendour of Bougainville attests. Still, there’s a sense of creativity and fun, from the rebellious ‘no-tables’ 212 to the laidback, much-loved Ron Gastrobar.
It may have a Michelin star, but this place is anything but stuffy. The open kitchen turns out playful small plates, and some of the finest steaks in town (dry-aged, impeccably sourced and served with bone marrow, béarnaise and fries).
Desserts include indulgent sharing portions of ice-cream and the iconic ‘surprise egg’ – a quirky chocolate confection, complete with runny yolk.
This modern, two Michelin-starred address offers ‘no-table’ dining – which translates to counter-style seating, set around a sleek open kitchen. It’s fascinating to watch the chefs at work, but what’s on the plate is even better.
The tasting menu is flawless, but there's an à la carte option too, if you'd rather build your own off-the-scale delicious dinner.
This swish spot oozes old-school glamour, with its brocade banquettes, gleaming gold tiles, and dreamy views of Dam Square.
It scooped a Michelin star within a year of opening, and lives up to the hype, with clued-up service, a stellar wine list, and dishes almost too pretty to eat.
It’s set in the decadent Hotel TwentySeven; after dinner, retire to one of its 16 sumptuous suites.